2021 is almost over. From England making it to the final of the Euros, the rise of the NFT and the Free Britney movement, there were plenty of moments that broke the internet (literally).
Although this year might have been pretty unpredictable there's one thing we do know - it was full of some of the hottest trainer drops of all time.
From the Nike Dunk, to the North Face Mule to New Balance's Grey Day we had some fire kicks dropping monthly and we've got the ultimate round up.
JANUARY: NIKE DUNK
It wouldn't be a round-up of the hottest trainer drops without mentioning Nike Dunks. Originally released in 1982 and designed by former Nike Creative Director, and designer of the Jordan 1, Peter Moore the Nike Dunk was originally named the College Colour High however the shoe coincided with the 40th anniversary of the “first” slam dunk, which led to a last-minute name change. The original "Be True To Your School" pack is one of the most memorable and iconic collections from the Swoosh.
Fast forward to 2021 and it's near impossible to get your hands on the iconic silhouette, with the Nike Dunk Black White that dropped in January being one of the most popular styles.
FEBRUARY: AIR JORDAN 6 CARMINE
Celebrating the 30th Anniversary of Michael Jordan winning his first NBA championship and the sneaker he wore to win it the Air Jordan 6 Retro Carmine launch was one of the most anticipated Jumpman launches of 2021.
Last retroed in 2014, this 'Carmine' release stayed as true to the 1991 Tinker Hatfield design as possible. Featuring the return of Nike branding and Chicago Bulls colours this drop was something special.
MARCH: NIKE AIR VAPORMAX EVO
Every March Nike drop a next level silhouette to celebrate Air Max Day and this year was no different. Inspired by the legendary Air Max lineage, the VaporMax Evo fuses some of Nike's most forward-thinking designs to create the ultimate silhouette.
Fusing the Air Max 90, 93, 96, Tuned 99, Solas, 180+ and Air Max Plus the Evo lets you bring the best of the past into the present with a bold futuristic look. Above the iconic VaporMax sole sits a synthetic and mesh upper combined with moulded synthetic overlays which you may recognise from the Air Max 96 II. One of the most noticeable design features was the 'whale tail' shank from the Air Max Plus and reflective logo inspired by the Air Max 93.
APRIL: NIKE CRATER IMPACT
2021 saw the Swoosh take their Move to Zero to the next level with the release of the Crater Impact. Designed using around 25 per cent recycled material by weight the Nike Crater Impact looked good as well as doing good.
Thanks to the reduction in virgin material in the design of the shoe, the Nike Crater Impact had a lower carbon footprint than your average trainer and the Nike Grind granules created a unique texture and colour mix on every midsole so every pair was unique.
MAY: NEW BALANCE GREY DAY
To celebrate New Balance's Grey Day, a day to celebrate the brand's heritage, New Balance released the most New Balance shoe ever - the grey 574. First launched in 1988, the 574 was created as an experiment to combine the best elements of a road and trail runner to create the ultimate go-anywhere shoe.
Now the New Balance 574 is known worldwide for its classic design and the core grey colourway makes it instantly recognisable as a New Balance silhouette and easy to wear.
JUNE: ON RUNNING
June saw a revolution in sportswear with the launch of On Running at Footasylum. Creating both running shoes and performance wear, On is the go-to brand for all things activewear. Designed by professional athlete Olivier Bernhard, the brand evolved from a mission to create the perfect running trainer and began to flourish when Bernhard crossed paths with a like-minded engineer.
Every On trainer features two key components, a cushioned landing and a firm takeoff and just to make these trainers every more impressive the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology conducted a study which confirmed that runners wearing On trainers had a significantly lower heart rate and lower blood lactate levels whilst exercising.
JULY: ADIDAS FORUM
Originally released back in 1984 the adidas Forum was one of the most expensive shoes on the market, with a price tag of $100, as well as being one of the first trainers to release in high, mid and low silhouettes.
Designed by Jacques Chassaing the adidas Forum was originally released as a basketball shoe. His designs located the weak point in the ankle and took inspiration from bands used by the physiotherapists to stabilise to create the ‘criss-cross ankle system’, which embraces and protects the ankle during play.
2021's adidas Forum still features the adjustable hook-and-loop ankle strap for comfort, support and freedom alongside a rubber cupsole and durable outsole for long-lasting strength.
AUGUST: NEW BALANCE 57/40
2021 was the year of the New Balance, with the brand becoming a must-have in every collection thanks to its vintage aesthetic. The 57/40 launch in August was the perfect combination of retro and comfort.
Drawing on inspiration from '80s and '90s fashion, the 57/40 gave the 574 a bold and modern update. Whether you prefer bold and colourful sneaks or more of a monochrome vibe the 57/40 had you covered. The soft suede and breathable mesh upper gives a nod to New Balance's more retro styles.
SEPTEMBER: ADIDAS ORIGINALS CELOX
Last year we saw the rise of the adidas OZWEEGO but in 2021 the much-loved silhouette was given an upgrade. If you like a bold silhouette the adidas Originals Celox was the ideal launch for you.
The structured cage takes centre stage with this silhouette with airy mesh underneath making these trainers breathable and super comfy. Add in enhanced comfort in the form of an EVA midsole packed with Adiprene and Adiprene+ cushioning, and these trainers are a must-have in any collection.
OCTOBER: THE NORTH FACE MULE SLIPPERS
This year it was all about comfort and footwear doesn't get much comfier than the North Face Mule Slippers. These levelled up slippers feature a grip sole for superior grip, traction and durability on slick surfaces, ThermoBall™ Eco insulation and cosy fleece lining to increase warmth, alongside next-level cushioning with shock-absorbing features for long distances.
As well as keeping you looking good these slippers help reduce landfill waste thanks to their 100% recycled ripstop upper and 40% recycled rubber outsole.
NOVEMBER: NIKE DUNK SCRAP
This Black Friday saw some of our biggest releases ever and although it was hard to pick one we thought the Nike Dunk Scrap deserved a spot in our round-up. The Nike Dunk Low Scrap Grey made waves when it launched during our Black Friday event.
The leather and mesh upper in black, white, and grey has been paired with a modern grid design on the tongue and splashes of Lemon Twist on the lower eyelets and embroidered detailing of the side panels.
DECEMBER: Air Jordan 1 Mid 'Dark Chocolate'
2021 saw the rise of the neutrals trend so it was only right that our final silhouette on our countdown honoured the trend. December saw the launch of the Air Jordan 1 Mid in 'Dark Chocolate' - the perfect colourways for winter.
A mixture of brown and black suede accents sits above a white sole to create the ultimate cold-weather Jordan.
Want to stay one step ahead for 2022? Stay locked into The Lowdown and our socials to be the first to know when new trainers drop.